The Catalyst

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    20 September 2017

    Palace of Westminster, London, United Kingdom

    "Going to lunch, eh?" said Jess Phillips, SDP MP to one of her colleagues on the Government benches. The girl nodded her head and took off in the other direction, hoping to catch up to a couple of the Outer Ministry secretaries. "Oh well...bye, I guess...." 

    Jess walked down the street past the statue of Winston Churchill, the dominant bulldog of British politics during the early to mid 20th century. He glowered down at her as if trying to tell her something. She simply shrugged it off as her own brain playing tricks while hopping into her taxi. 

    "Thanks mate...I'm meeting someone at Piccadilly Circus," Jess said to the driver. She noticed somebody waving her off on the side. "Wait, hold on a minute."

    "If we don't get going, I'm gonna charge you by the minute," the driver muttered. Jess paid no mind to the driver. She saw Dawn Butler running up to her.

    "Jess, don't go yet!" Dawn replied. She looked different. Something was wrong. 

    "Dawn, what's going on?" asked Jess. Her face quickly turned from bored to concerned. 

    "There's an incident going on at Piccadilly!" Dawn replied. 

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    Piccadilly Circus, London, 15:52

    "Joe!" Commander Dan Johnson yelled to one of his officers. The scene at Piccadilly was thrown into pure chaos. Tourists and citizens screaming as they ran in every which direction while the health services pulled away some people who had been hit with bullets. 

    "Commander," Joe replied, having weaved his way to the Commander. "What's the situation?"

    "Active shooters...they're sending in the SFO and AFO to deal with this. The AFV's are coming as well. We think there are four locations in the area that the shooters have either taken hostages or have decided to camp out. We have to be careful," Commander Johnson responded. "It's full crisis situation the likes of which we haven't seen in London. I've already gotten word that we could have a death toll in the hundreds when this is all done, since we don't have any ID on who or any locations beyond knowing there's at least one in that Boots over there."

    "Shit, mate...." Joe gasped. 

    "Alright, we've got to get over to the Boots and handle the situation," Commander Johnson ordered, smacking Joe on the shoulder. "Quick sticks!" 

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    Cabinet Office Briefing Room, Cabinet Office, 70 Whitehall, London - 16:04

    "What are we dealing with?" the Prime Minister asked. COBRA was not something she looked forward to using, and it was the first time in her tenure as Prime Minister that she's had to use it at all. 

    "Prime Minister, the Metropolitan Police have found that there are three shooters in London. One has taken 20 hostages in a Boots next to Piccadilly Circus. One has been killed in pursuit from Piccadilly towards the Thames. There's still one more unaccounted for and the police are still looking for that shooter across Central London. The vehicle driver has also mowed over several pedestrians and tried to go down the pedestrian areas of Oxford Street," the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, Cressida Dick, told the Prime Minister, the Home Secretary and several other ministers.

    "Well, at least we raised the terror threat level before this happened," Home Secretary Amber Rudd groaned. "This is a gigantic mess."

    "Amber, I don't want to hear it," the Prime Minister snapped. "You had your opportunity to get a raid in and you didn't take it. It's my turn to take over now." The Home Secretary was suspiciously silent after that. 

    "Prime Minister, I think the best course of action is to get in contact with our sister security agencies across Europe and figure out if this was a threat from outside the United Kingdom and where it could strike next," Foreign Secretary Stephen Crabb explained. 

    "I will put you in charge of that, Stephen," the Prime Minister responded. "Get MI6 on it; Amber, you do the same for MI5. Cressida, I want you to take whatever steps necessary to get this situation under control. We need to put all NHS hospitals in London under crisis footing as well. I will get on the phone with Chris; we need people to avoid London right now."

    "Prime Minister," the assembled responded. Immediately, the parties were on their phones getting things to happen. 

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    Piccadilly Circus - 16:27

    The wail of the sirens of ambulances and police cars clouded the hearing of Officer Joe Stevens, having arrived earlier at the scene of the impending situation. Commissioner Johnson returned to him as he guided some civilians away from the area.

    "They were refugees," Commissioner Johnson said to Officer Stevens.

    "What?" Joe gasped. 

    "The four suspects were refugees from Dromund Kaas, Sith followers and committed to punishing the United Kingdom for re-entering the conflict on behalf of the now defunct nation," Commissioner Johnson explained. "It's a terrorist attack, and they're trying to scare the UK into pulling out of helping Angleter and the Duxburian Union on the issue. 

    For a while, nothing was said as the chaos began to calm down a bit as the situation sounded as if it was grinding to a halt.

    Joe didn't know what to say; he hadn't an opinion on the Dromund Kaas conflict; it was so far away from Britain that he didn't think any consequence would blowback. No one he knew thought that. Indeed, during the Commons debate that crept into the dead of night last year, there was no sign from the MPs that they thought the issue would result in something like this coming to Britain. 

    Even though the Government had raised the terror level....he imagined it would go back down. After all, the Crusaders that caused the the 7/22 bombings were a distant memory. 

    'What will we do now?' Joe thought as he watched the SFO's sweep the Boots and get the hostages out. He turned his back, fortunate that there were no shots, only to be horrified by the explosion that followed. 

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